Curculionid Weevil (three photos)
If you find Mullein during the bloom in Utah, chances are you
will find these little weevils. Mullein
in full bloom is, in my opinion, one of the prettiest plants that
decorate the vast expanses on Antelope
Island, but in its decline it is one of the ugliest.
It gets all gooey and slimy and these little invasive
weevils (from Europe) do their best to exterminate an invasive
plant (from Europe and Africa).
After watching these little weevils on their host
plant, Mullein, I came to the conclusion that they believe in
wild orgies. I don't know when they have time to
eat! They were introduced to the US to help control Mullein,
but I think the plants have caught on to this strategy
because they seem to have multiplied as well. Here's an
Mullein along with information about its biological
enemies. © Carol Davis, 6-22-2008
Utah's solultion to the Mullein Weevil overpopulation:
I have a special place where I love to watch the Robber Flies on
Antelope Island. They are in abundance in this area
and I found out this June day that maybe they stick around the area
because of the large number of Mullein plants.
If you look closely, you will see that the Robber Fly has captured tiny
prey--yes, a European Curculionid Weevi.
You can see the wings hanging down from it where it tried to fly
to get away. I guess even the tiniest insects can
be used for snacking. Loved it! © Carol Davis,
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